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Old 07-16-2014, 10:51 AM   #1
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Convict Wigglers?

Hey all, so this is my 4th breeding attempt by my convicts and it looks like their eggs just fell off of the wall of the flower pot that they laid them in. They're still guarding them though (this is the 4th day since they were laid), and I do see small tail-like appendages but they do not appear to be moving on their own. I'm not sure if these are wigglers since the past 3 times haven't gone this well. I can't get a good picture, the parents are in the way all the time.

Sometimes they do seem to fly around a bit randomly but I have been assuming its from the parents fins rushing near them. When they do fly off, one of the parents will go suck them up and spit them back in the back of the flower pot.

Anyone have experience with wigglers? I'd love to know because this is exciting for me lol
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I wonder why tough corals are called hammers, and weak corals are called buttons...

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Old 07-16-2014, 09:19 PM   #2
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If you see tails, they are wigglers
Cichlid fry will hatch but still have a yolk sac for nurishment which is why they don;t swim immediately after hatching. Depending on water temps, this should take about 3 days to absorb and then they will start free swimming. Make sure you have food ready to feed the fry once they start swimming. Frozen baby brine shrimp or decapsulated brine shrimp is a good first food. ( Hikari's "first bites" is not the recommended first food. It is designed more for livebearer fry than egglayer fry. Even says so on the package in really small letters ) Once you get them growing on these foods, you can switch to ground flake foods or flake foods designed for fry growth.

Until this all happens, just enjoy the ride

Hope this helps
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:22 PM   #3
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Thanks soooo much, I knew about the yolk sacks, I've just never had a convict brood before. I'm going to use homemade food for the babies.
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Old 07-16-2014, 11:04 PM   #4
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Just remember, fry use the sense of smell and sight to start feeding. If you use a food that doesn;t have a pleasant smell or just sits on the bottom of the tank without moving, they may not eat it. I hope you have these fish in a bare bottom tank if you are not using live food. If not, it can fall between the gravel pieces and rot and then you will have a situation.
Good luck, keep us posted.
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Old 07-16-2014, 11:12 PM   #5
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I will. I'm going to feed them Infusoria, and my substrate is black sand. I'll also look into the baby brine shrimp. I've been feeding the parents brine shrimp and occasionally mysis shrimp.
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Old 07-16-2014, 11:26 PM   #6
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I will. I'm going to feed them Infusoria, and my substrate is black sand. I'll also look into the baby brine shrimp. I've been feeding the parents brine shrimp and occasionally mysis shrimp.
Convict fry are really big enough to skip the infusoria stage. I'd go straight to the baby brine shrimp. Live being the better choice if you have sand in the tank as you don't want the frozen stuff to get mixed into the sand. Even if you do use infusoria, the fry will need to be given a larger food source in just a couple of days as they grow quickly.
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Old 07-16-2014, 11:52 PM   #7
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Good to know. I'll get some live brine shrimp soon. On a somewhat unrelated topic, what do you recommend that I feed to gold ocellatus?
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Old 07-17-2014, 12:31 AM   #8
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Congrats! It sure is fun having convict fry. They grow fast!
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Old 07-17-2014, 12:32 AM   #9
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Good to know. I'll get some live brine shrimp soon. On a somewhat unrelated topic, what do you recommend that I feed to gold ocellatus?
NOT live brine shrimp, live BABY brine shrimp. You may need to hatch them yourself. Most shops don;t sell live baby brine shrimp. It's not hard to do and, thankfully, again they don't need it for long. You should have them off this in a week or so then start converting to a dead diet of either frozen baby brine or crushed flake. If you can find powdered fry food, even better than crushed flake as it's designed for better growth for fry.

As for your gold ocellatus, a varied diet of flakes, live and frozen foods as well as greens should make him/them happy and colorful. Since it is a Tanganykian fish, make sure you give them greens in the diet mix.

Hope this helps
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Old 07-17-2014, 12:35 AM   #10
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Okay. Just curious, how much does a hatchery setup cost?
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Old 07-17-2014, 01:57 PM   #11
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Okay. Just curious, how much does a hatchery setup cost?
You can make a hatchery quite simply and cheaply. It all depends on what you have available on hand. The following is an instruction sheet I made for how I make brine shrimp in 24 hrs or less. The picture referred in the sheet can be found here: Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community - Andy Sager's Album: Instruction charts - Picture

Hatching Brine, this is what I do:
You will need an adjustable heater, a thermometer, a fluorescent light (most brands now suggest light for optimum hatching), some airline, an airstone, an air pump, non iodized salt, a container (preferably glass) that can hold at least 1/2 gal of water and water.
Make the temp of the water between 88 and 90 degrees.
Make a solution equal to 5 tablespoons of salt per 1 gal of water. (2 1/2 Tablespoons per 1/2 gal of water)
Make sure airpump is pumping enough air to circulate the bs eggs and they don't cluster on the bottom.
Make sure airstone produces larger bubbles or airline has a weight to hold it down at the bottom of the container. Position the end so that the water circulates in a circle.

This is my steps to having live brine within 24 hours:
My heaters are already set to the temp and I just place them in one of the other BS jars when I clean and set up a new jar. (I use 3 jars)
I add the water, the right amount of salt for the amount of water (This pic is of a 1/2 gal glass bowl so it gets 2 1/2 tablespoons of salt), the eggs.
I take the bowl back outside (I keep mine outside) and put the heater back in the bowl, the airline back into the bowl, cover with the aluminum foil top I made to stop the splashing then go about my business. By the next day, I have live baby brine shrimp. Use immediately.

You'll notice the light is behind the bowl and I am not using an airstone but an open airline with a weight at the bottom. Anyone telling you it needs to be more complicated than this is full of it and doesn't know what they are talking about.lol You need to understand that the reason the salt level works is because of the high temp. Colder water will make this solution higher in salinity so you would need to lessen the amount of salt if you turn down the temp. (Use a converting program online to see what the salinity at 90 degrees is equal to at the lower temp.) HOWEVER, colder temps make the BS take longer to hatch so why do that?
------------------------------------------------------------------
The other route is to buy a pre made brine shrimp hatchery which can be expensive. FYI: I've hatched out billions of shrimp over the years just using the above method.

The cost of my setup will vary. I found the bowl in the picture at a local flea market and paid 50 cents for it. (I've paid as high as $1.00 for glass jars.) The most expensive thing in my set up is the heater but the ones I use I have had since the mid 1980s in my last hatchery. (Good equipment, cared for properly, will last a long time ) If you have one on hand, no need to buy a new one. The air was a bleed off from my fish tanks and you should always have some extra airline laying around "just in case" The weight can be a simple rock with a rubber band.( I'm using a fishing sinker because I am in that business and have access to them.) My set up is easy to clean, easy to set up and extremely cost efficient.

Hope this helps
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Old 07-17-2014, 02:55 PM   #12
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Okay. Im assuming that I can get the eggs from my LFS, if not then I'm clueless. Lol
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:26 PM   #13
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Yes your local fish store should sell brine shrimp eggs. It doesn't take much to hatch them. I use a 500ml pop bottle with an air stone and sit it under a lamp. Add almost a tablespoon of salt. I don't use a heater. It takes longer if they are colder. Don't put too many eggs in, the fish can only eat so many before they are no longer any good. This is all a waste of time for con fry though. They will eat anything. I use boiled egg yolk for the first couple days if I'm feeling lazy and don't feel like crushing some pellets into dust. The female will push herself into the substrate and flick her tail to get any food bits stirred up for them. Also if im planning on having fry I will not clean any decor in the tank. Algae on the surface of things holds a lot of things for them to eat, like a forest.
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:56 PM   #14
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Yes your local fish store should sell brine shrimp eggs. It doesn't take much to hatch them. I use a 500ml pop bottle with an air stone and sit it under a lamp. Add almost a tablespoon of salt. I don't use a heater. It takes longer if they are colder. Don't put too many eggs in, the fish can only eat so many before they are no longer any good. This is all a waste of time for con fry though. They will eat anything. I use boiled egg yolk for the first couple days if I'm feeling lazy and don't feel like crushing some pellets into dust. The female will push herself into the substrate and flick her tail to get any food bits stirred up for them. Also if im planning on having fry I will not clean any decor in the tank. Algae on the surface of things holds a lot of things for them to eat, like a forest.
To each their own The only fry I fed yolk to was those that need(ed) infusoria which Convicts don't. Studies have shown that Cichlid fry will grow faster and healthier when fed Live or decapsulated brine shrimp over flake and other foods. You can find a link to an article in regards to this and Angelfish fry in the "Wigglers at last!!!! " thread in the breeding forum. There are other studies from years back that also concurred with this finding.. Just sayin'

Keep us posted Istrom
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:25 PM   #15
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Your right they don't need it. I crush pellets up to dust for them and the only time I use yolk is when I don't have much time and don't feel like. Honestly though when ever I had cons I spent more time trying to not get them to breed or the fry to live. I have Honduran red point fry in my 125 with my oscar that I'm trying to get him to eat. But he's been off his food for a week due to all the tank changes. School of silver dollars got moved out and male red point and some fry moved out. Decor change as well, so now he's just starting to eat again. The fry are only 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch long, so they will become more appealing to him as they get bigger.
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:52 PM   #16
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Although I really appreciate your help and all that, the wigglers seem to be gone. Neither of the parents are guarding one spot either. They must have eaten them again

The female is still extremely colorful and it almost looks like they're doing a breeding dance again.... now I am extremely confused
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Old 07-17-2014, 11:15 PM   #17
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Although I really appreciate your help and all that, the wigglers seem to be gone. Neither of the parents are guarding one spot either. They must have eaten them again

The female is still extremely colorful and it almost looks like they're doing a breeding dance again.... now I am extremely confused
Unfortunately, there are a couple of reasons why the fish eat their fry. 1 is that the parents are too disturbed so they feel destroying the brood is better than losing them to an invader. A second one is that the fish just are not good parents and this is all they know. Third is that something is wrong with the fry and they know to eliminate them for the next spawn. Hard to tell
If you really, really , really want fry, you can try to artificially hatch them out. Then the parents are out of the equation and you can see if maybe they know something about their fry that you aren't seeing. (ie, they don't survive the transformation from wigglers to free swimmers.)

Just something to think about
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Old 07-18-2014, 12:02 AM   #18
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Well I had been shining a bright LED flashlight on the eggs/wigglers to check how they were doing ._. I did it about once every two hours for the entire time they had them.
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Old 07-18-2014, 12:16 AM   #19
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Well I had been shining a bright LED flashlight on the eggs/wigglers to check how they were doing ._. I did it about once every two hours for the entire time they had them.
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Old 07-18-2014, 01:01 AM   #20
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Oh no! I'm sorry that they are gone. Let them keep trying. As hard as it may be, try to leave them alone and no shining lights at them. If the parents feel at all threatened they will get rid of the babies. Just watch from afar. I'm not sure what kind of tank you have, but what I found to work the best was a bare tank. A Terra cotta pot for them to use on spawning and keeping babies in and gravel. I also invested in a very bright step light. It makes it a lot easier to watch them at night with the room lights out.
Your pair is getting closer and closer!
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